March 28, 2017

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chip bee gardens

by Najeer Yusof

WHEN Ms Dawn Sim, 30, needed a babysitter to watch her son while she was away, all she had to do was put up a post on the Chip Bee Gardens’ Facebook group.

“There was this 14-year-old Canadian girl, living two streets down, who responded and she has been helping me out for a month already,” she said. The resident of six months added: “Just the other day someone was requesting for a ladder on the page. This is a really wonderful initiative that brings the residents in my community closer.”

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Unlike the Chip Bee Gardens of the past, which was formerly a British military estate, the community today comprises a mix of locals and foreigners. This change in the demographics of Chip Bee Gardens is one of the issues that the seventh edition of OH! Open House’s annual art walk will highlight. Chip Bee Gardens is an estate comprising single and double-storey colonial houses in Holland Village.

This year’s art walk explores the historical significance of Holland Village and it is done through three 45-minute tours. The Chip Bee tour will feature art installations in residents’ houses. The tour will draw attention to the social and lifestyle changes in the community due to evolving demographics, and architectural remnants from the British era.

Encompassing the theme of “Borders”, the tour will feature artwork such as Creep in Three Movements by artist Yen Phang. Mr Phang, 38, used inked and stained toilet paper which he layered and bundled across a resident’s living room. His installation, placed among the objects of the house, seeks to portray “artwork as a pest”. This is to address the relation to existing developments and incoming changes to Chip Bee Gardens.

 

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Mr Yen Phang, 38, with his installation, Creep in Three Movements. He inked and stained toilet paper before layering and bundling them. His installation can be seen in the resident’s living room, as part of the Chip Bee tour.

 

OH! is organising two other tours: The HDB tour and the Hakka Cemetery tour. The HDB tour, which is themed “Goods”, will showcase artworks that appreciate the value of everyday objects defining one’s identity.

 

Mr Joel Chin, 31, with his installation, Echo, which is a display of porcelain items. Using a power tool with a sanding bit, he removed all motifs on the porcelain items to reflect a loss of identity. Within these items, he placed a speaker that plays a recording of his attempts at learning the Hakka language. His work can be seen in the HDB flat, which is part of the HDB tour.
Mr Joel Chin, 31, with his installation, Echo, which is a display of porcelain items. Using a power tool with a sanding bit, he removed all motifs on the porcelain items to reflect a loss of identity. Within these items, he placed a speaker that plays a recording of his attempts at learning the Hakka language. His work can be seen in the HDB flat, which is part of the HDB tour.

 

“Rituals” is the theme of the Hakka Cemetery tour, which seeks to highlight the concepts of repetition, order, loss and remembrance. This tour is self-guided.

 

Don't Ask Me Where I Come From, a sculptural installation by Mr Ivan David Ng, 26. His work, made from rock, stone and clay, reflects his Hakka heritage. His work can be seen within the field in the Shuang Long Shan Hakka cemetery.
Don’t Ask Me Where I Come From, a sculptural installation by Mr Ivan David Ng, 26. His work, made from rock, stone and clay, reflects his Hakka heritage. His work can be seen within the field in the Shuang Long Shan Hakka cemetery.

 

OH! Open House Art Walk is an art exhibition that ventures outside of museums into the heartlands, showcasing the heritage of these neighbourhoods through art. The past eight years have seen them set up in Marine Parade (2011), Tiong Bahru (2012), Marina Bay (2013), Joo Chiat (2015) and Potong Pasir (2016). This year’s art walk will run on Saturdays and Sundays, and will take place from Mar 4 to Mar 19. Ticket are priced at $25.

 

Featured image by Najeer Yusof.

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Green clock showing 8.30

THE biggest single-building property deal in the Asia-Pacific region has been inked – Asia Square Tower 1, in the Marina Bay area, has been sold by US private equity firm Blackrock to Qatar Investment Authority for a staggering $3.4 billion. QIA pipped four or five other unnamed would-be buyers to seal the deal. The sale is expected to embolden other buyers as it signals confidence in the value of Singapore’s property market.

On the other hand, residents of Chip Bee Gardens are worried about asbestos found in their front porch roof sheeting. A contractor working on a broken roof on April 26 reported that the material in question could contain asbestos, and an analysis was conducted. Chrysotile, a common type of asbestos, was found in the building’s material. Asbestos was banned as a building material in 1989, but older buildings sometimes still contain the material, which is relatively safe unless it is being worked on.

Of the 349 state-owned, black and white terraced houses in the area, 323 were found to have roofs containing asbestos. The remaining 26 units were not affected. After inspection, SLA will replace about 20 per cent of the roofs and repair another 70 per cent of them. Asbestos works have to be conducted by a licensed asbestos removal contractor, and there are about 200 such cases done in Singapore every year.

No more new eateries will be allowed to open in three zones as parts of Thomson Village, Simpang Bedok and Little India Historic District get added to a list of 21 other zones flagged for having parking problems. A lack of adequate parking as well as errant drivers prompted URA to start the list in 2002. The message is clear – park properly, or else there will be no more food for you.

And if you haven’t already heard – the iconic Underwater World will close for good on June 26, after 25 years of operation. The lease for the site expires in less than two years, but the closure will happen before this to facilitate the move of the animals to their new homes, including Chimelong Ocean Kingdom in Zhuhai, China, where the pink dolphins will be moving to. Zhuhai is one of the main habitats of the pink dolphin.

To commemorate its final month, the attraction will slash prices to $9 for adults and $5 for children – the same as when it first opened in 1991. If you still want to visit an aquarium attraction after June 26, there’s still the S.E.A. Aquarium, also in Sentosa.

 

Featured image by Najeer Yusof.

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For breaking news, you can talk to us via email.